In the poem The Bull Moose by Alden Nowlan, there is a reoccurring significance placed the conflict between humanity and nature. The poet contrasts humanity to nature through the use of literary devices, mainly comparisons and imagery. His method of deliverance emphasizes the ultimate suffering, death, which the bull moose experiences as a result of the human's ignorance.
Nowlan begins the poem by creating a vivid image for the reader with his descriptive language. Through describing the bull moose's natural habitat, it is clear that it is very different from the one which he is moving towards. The author talks of the "purple mist of trees on the mountain" and the many different varieties of trees in the forest such as spruce, cedar and tamarack. It is when the bull moose encounters the pole fenced pasture that these descriptions stop, the fence seems to symbolize the bull moose's exit from nature and his entrance into humanity. It is after the bull moose crosses this barrier and leaves his old life behind amongst the trees which he traveled through, that he beings to be the subject of ignorance. He is surrounded by automobiles, people who look at him much differently and young men who "tried to pour beer down his throat, while their girlfriends took their pictures". This inconsiderate behavior is the first example of the conflict between the bull moose and humanity. .
Throughout the poem the bull moose is constantly seen by the people surrounding him as something more domesticated than he is, and the author describes these thoughts using similes and figurative language. The people see him as "shaggy and cuddlesome" words which would seldom be used to describe a moose. Even the old man, who normally signifies wisdom, remembers the only another moose he had ever seen as "gelded". It suggest that the moose has been domesticated and his freedom to run wild and savage has been taken away.